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Czech government approves simplified EIA process

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Prague, Dec 19 (CTK) – The Czech government approved a draft amendment to the law on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that is to speed up and simplify the EIA process at its meeting yesterday, its spokesman Martin Ayrer has said.
The bill is yet to pass through parliament and receive the president’s signature to become law.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) wants the lower house of parliament to deal with the bill at its next regular session that will be held in January, along with a related construction bill.
Brabec said the amendment would shorten the EIA process by six or more weeks.
At present, the EIA process may last maximally six months.
The draft amendment transposes the European EIA directive into Czech legislation. It also reduces the number of projects subject to the EIA process.
The European Union did not grant subsidies to some Czech construction projects due to their EIAs that were issued under legislation valid before the Czech entry into the EU. Last summer, the European Commission agreed that several key projects did not have to wait for a new EIA process so that they could be launched next year.
The draft amendment names the 13 processes that an investor must undergo.
The South Bohemia Mothers group is against the legislation, arguing that it will limit the participation of the public in the permits for nuclear facilities.
It will be impossible to challenge in court the final statement released within the EIA, the group said.
This is another step towards the construction of new nuclear reactors, the group said.
“The dream of an independent nuclear supervision seems to be vanishing,” activist Monika Machova Wittingerova said.
“The State Office for Nuclear Energy is paving the way for the creators of new nuclear reactors,” she added.

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